Rising enrolment has forced the McGuinty government to pay for two new schools for the French Catholic school board.
“For September, I think we are getting approximately 500 more students already,” said Diane Doré, chair of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est.
“We’re probably going to reach the 20,000 students (mark) in September or the next year.”
Four new schools are coming to west Ottawa — two elementary in Barrhaven and two high schools in Kanata.
Three of them are in French boards.
The announcement was made in Nepean Wednesday by Minister of Education Leona Dombrowsky, who stressed the importance of investing in infrastructure.
“As we build new buildings, we do expect to see efficiencies with better windows, better heating systems, and so on, so it could be a cost savings for the board over the long term,” said Dombrowsky.
The timeline for the project is three years.
Overall, the province is investing $650 million to build 43 schools and expand 30 others.
As well roughly $2.6 million will be spent on an addition to Laurier-Carriere — an elementary school in Nepean — for six classrooms.
Out of 350 students at Laurier-Carriere, 60 are in portables.
Ottawa-West Nepean MPP Bob Chiarelli said other boards in the area have declining enrolment.
“For some reason, the Francophone schools have tremendous demands -they’re very, very overcrowded and they need significant upgrades or new schools. We’re responding to that,” he said.
The ministry received funding applications from all four boards in Ottawa and almost every school board in Ontario.